Happy Birthday, Anita !



Brian and Anita at 'Follies In Concert' 28 April 2015
Brian and Anita at ‘Follies In Concert’, RAH, 28 April 2015 (David M Benett, Getty Images)

Recalling her as as Dolly Levi in one of our favourite roles
– the wonderfully cheery and uplifting “Hello, Dolly!” musical in 2008 .
(Magical number ‘Put On Your Sunday Clothes’ never fails to lift any gloom.) [Seen WALL-E ?]
Brian’s comments ‘back then’ below photos.

Who can doubt the sheer energy, and effervescence of Dr May’s talented and lovely ‘other half’. Last night – appearing in “Follies In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall – and see more of her soon on BBC2 as Elizabeth I in ‘Armada’…. and at your local cinema in the UK !!! (more of that later!!)

Anita and Brian - Hello Dolly
Anita and Train Driver, Bri

Brian wrote on his Soapbox June 2008:

It was a night when the Heavens opened in Cardiff … I have seldom seen rain like it …. Inside the New Theatre, all was warm and friendly, but there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! My lovely missis (Anita Dobson, for those unaware), starring in Hello Dolly around the countryside right now, was playing her last night in Cardiff. I went over to bring her home for a rare day off … and … lo and behold, they were missing a Train Driver!!! The train in Hello Dolly is one of the stars of the show … you know, like the Helicopter in Miss Saigon, the Chandelier in Phantom …. or am I spoiling it for you?! ha ha! Anyway, my weeks of rehearsal paid off (kidding) … and I was able to save the day, by driving the train on in the last act. Phil Webb captured the moment … Anita, and the entire company, including Darren Day as Cornelius Hackle … and a great cast and orchestra … is in Leeds this coming week. I recommend it … a very warm night out! But I can’t guarantee the quality of the train driving!

Thespian Dr Bri
22 June 2008


Brian wrote on his Soapbox 17 February 2008:

My lovely wife is currently on tour around the UK. (This is my punishment for a life of leaving the Loved One at home while Queen was on tour!) She’s starring in a new production of Hello Dolly, and this coming week the company is in Hull – The New Theatre. Its very much an Old-Style (I’m sure they wouldn’t mind me saying this!) musical, set sometime near the end of the 19th Century – the 1880’s. But it’s a VERY well-written piece, both in music and ‘book’, and this version has VERY up-to-date production values. And a great cast. My lovely missis plays Dolly Levi, a character created by Thornton Wilder in his book, The Matchmaker, a society gal who ‘fixes’ things … among them, “furniture, daffodils … and lives” … including liaisons, and … marriages. The musical version of the play was created by Jerry Herman, and was first performed in 1938. It’s odd, this is exactly the kind of thing I wouldn’t have been dragged to when I was young (that’s why we played Rock and Roll, right?!) but I find myself more and more appreciating the craftsmanship in a work like this. Go see And I challenge you not to have a tear in your eye by the time it finishes. This is the kind of thing Anita is brilliant at … the musical could easily look facile and superficial … a lot of jolly singing and dancing – but she brings a reality to the central, rather tragic figure, which completely takes the show to another place. She brings out (with the help of some excellent direction, and a good team around her) the actual heart of the piece, and its very moving.

17 February 2008